How do we take all the moments of life that are often repetitive and ordinary, and turn them into captivating personal times? One way is through optimizing our own sense of well being. This internal state is particularly reactive to our emotional and physical states of health. For instance, I remember occasions when good things were about to happen, but I was so overtired or anxious that I could not appreciate a special day. I also remember occasions when nothing happened, but because I felt well rested and truly at peace with myself I enjoyed every moment.
How do we work on restoring ourselves? How do we gather our positive energies to be in our own best interest? Certainly one of the most critical factors is seeing yourself in a positive light. If I don’t truly value myself, I am certainly not going to take good care of myself. I am more responsive to the criticism from a negative spouse or parent than my own inner feelings of self worth. I may not take good care of myself and the results can be devastating. Over the years I have seen so many clients who were not thriving because they had internalized negative comments, criticism and opinions from others. The end result was that they began to believe the negative perceptions of themselves and ultimately saw themselves in a poor light.
It is very important to see yourself in a positive light. This means not putting yourself down and not criticizing yourself. It means becoming your own best friend. Often taking better care of yourself becomes essential. For all of us, it is important to get enough rest, eat well, learn how to sort through the negative remarks that hurt, not get caught up and lost in the feelings those remarks engendered, and to value who we really are and what each of us has to offer the world.
This “R” is extremely difficult and involves a lot of mental and emotional perspiration. We are vulnerable to absorbing criticism and negative remarks about ourselves and actually internalizing them Pokies, making them ours. So there is much work to be done when we start to sift through feelings that we are less rather than more. We need to think of ourselves as more, not less.
I remember one client who had struggled to begin think of herself as more, not less. Her husband was often critical of her and constantly interruptive. For example when eating out he would often criticize her and spoil her pleasure by suggesting she had put on some pounds and might not want to order a particular item. Around the house he would barge into a room and interrupt her telephone conversation or television show. He would then bring up a subject in which she was presented as the culprit.
It was a wonderful day in her life when she was simply able to say when her husband interrupted her, “I am leaving the house for a few hours. I hope upon my return your mood will be better and you will be treating me more appropriately.” She then took the car keys and went to visit a friend. When she came back he was pleasant and in a totally different state. Although this was only part of the correction between them, it was a momentous moment in giving her a sense that not only must she think of herself as more, not less, but she also must have the courage to take positive appropriate action.
Rapture is a strong, full word that incorporates a capacity for joy that affects us in our own mind, body and spirit. It is a feeling of being in harmony in a euphoric or an ecstatic way with others or the universe at large. Obviously, we don’t go around in a state of rapture all the time. To experience even states of well being on a regular basis involves tremendous daily practice. Yet, if we work and we perspire, mentally, emotionally, socially we will be rewarded. How? For one thing, the positive actions we take in our lives are pleasing to us and good for us.